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Meeting 'America Ninja Warrior' host Matt Iseman

Comedian and "American Ninja Host" Matt Iseman with

Comedian and "American Ninja Host" Matt Iseman with Kidsday reporters Daniella Jimenez, left; Gabriella Lombardo; Anthony Diaz; and Joseph Rivera, ages 11 and 12, of Copiague, in Manhattan. Credit: Newsday/Pat Mullooly

We recently had the pleasure of interviewing Matt Iseman, the host of “American Ninja Warrior” and “American Ninja Warrior Junior.”   Before he became famous on the show, we learned that he had led an extremely interesting life. Most people don’t know that he always wasn’t on TV.   He started off going to medical school at Princeton and  becoming a doctor. While working at a hospital, he decided to give up medicine and take to stand-up comedy. This big risk paid off! He started touring the world and was on a few television shows before becoming host of “American Ninja Warrior.”  Here are some of the questions we asked him.

 Did he miss being a doctor?  He told us that he sort of misses it because he enjoys helping people.  He felt that he is still helping people but in different ways now.  

 Did his parents support his decision to leave medicine?  He told us  they were extremely supportive of his choice. They said that life  was short, and he should do what makes him happy.  

As for his comedy career, what comedians influenced him?  He  said growing up, he used to love listening to Steve Martin records. Eddie Murphy was another comedian  who did some great movies that he enjoyed. Brian Regan is a more recent comedian  who influenced him.  

We read that he was on “Celebrity Apprentice.”  What was that experience like? He  said he had a great time on the show.  He got to meet one of his idols, Arnold Schwarzenegger, who was the host.  He was able to raise nearly a million dollars for the Arthritis Foundation. This charity was close to him because he has suffered from arthritis for over 15 years.

On the show, we thought there were some pretty cool obstacles. We asked him if he had ever tried the obstacle course. He told us that he tried the obstacle course and failed!  He suffered a few injuries to his leg . His job seemed like a lot of fun.  What was his favorite part of the job?  He  said working with so many great people.  You get to see athletes grow up and it is cool to see where they are now in their lives.    

 Then we  asked some random questions. What was his favorite subject in school?  He  said it was math. He liked it because there was always an answer. He also was a big history fan.  Which three people in history would he like to have dinner with?  He said George Washington would be one.   Our first president  was a great leader. Arnold Schwarzenegger would be the second because he has always looked up to him. The last was the comedian Brian Regan. He was a big influence on  him and would be fun to sit and talk with.  

    We had a lot of fun with Matt Iseman. He was easy to talk to and made us laugh. He also did a great Schwarzenegger imitation.  

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